Women are the missing key to tackling climate change in the Muslim World – EURACTIV.com

The Muslim world, and its non secular leaders, have an obligation to empower ladies to play essential civil society roles if local weather change is to be slowed and – probably even reversed, writes Dr Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa.

Dr Al-Issa is Secretary-Normal of the world’s largest Islamic non-governmental organisation, the Muslim World League (MWL), which includes a worldwide community of Islamic non secular students spanning 139 international locations. Dr Al Issa can also be one of many world’s main and most influential Islamic clerics and made international information after making an inter-faith journey to Auschwitz and assembly Pope Francis.

Famine. International refugee crises. Unprecedented dying tolls. That’s what might await the Muslim world.

This yr’s Earth Day comes within the shadow of an IPCC report that reveals the window to forestall international temperatures from rising above 1.5°C (the broadly accepted level of no return) is closing – guaranteeing some Islamic world international locations turning into uninhabitable inside a long time.

Local weather change is right here. However there’s nonetheless one important useful resource that may assist mood its damaging results – ladies.

The Muslim world, and its non secular leaders, have an obligation to empower ladies to play vital civil society roles if local weather change is to be slowed and – probably even reversed.

For too lengthy Muslim ladies have been relegated to home roles, with little say in the way forward for their houses and kids. All legitimised by distorted readings of scripture and outdated cultural practices.

Within the WEF’s 2021 Gender Hole report, an astounding 24 of the underside 30 international locations with the widest gender gaps are Muslim-majority.

This, to me, is outrageous. Not solely as Secretary-Normal of the world’s largest Islamic NGO however as a Muslim. Once I consider the environmental calamity that may inevitably befall our ummah ought to we fail to relinquish such damaging doctrines, it’s much more troubling.

Women, in spite of everything, are important to the area’s meals provide, accounting for 50%-70% of the agricultural workforce. Their in depth information of agricultural infrastructure allows them to navigate and information environmental policymaking. As well as, International South ladies have confirmed to make extra environment friendly use of sources like water, meals, and gas – key elements of local weather motion.

Due to this fact, ladies within the Islamic world have invaluable views on how local weather change is unfolding, how we are able to finest put together for it—and even what we must always not do in response. Sadly, these essential views typically fail to succeed in policymakers as a result of ladies merely wouldn’t have a seat on the desk.

However it’s not solely what ladies know—however how they act on what they know – that issues.

UN Research on local weather motion have confirmed that girls within the International South tackle local weather associated points by specializing in holistic neighborhood engagement which “results in greater responsiveness to citizens’ needs and often increases in cooperation across party and ethnic lines, generally resulting in sustainable outcomes.”

In brief, ladies within the Islamic world should play a pivotal position in confronting the Islamic world’s local weather disaster.

In sensible phrases, which means ladies from Muslim world nations occupying vital roles in developmental organisations, being at coronary heart of the manager applications and local weather plans of the Islamic world, and the following technology of younger ladies throughout the Islamic world being educated on local weather science and civil society engagement.

The feminine inhabitants, in spite of everything, is likely one of the lungs of society – and society should breathe with each lungs.

There are indicators the Islamic world is starting to behave. Take, for example, the much-vaunted Saudi and Center East Inexperienced Initiatives launched by the Saudi Crown Prince in 2021. It made international headlines for aiming to plant 50 billion timber throughout the area and has already raised vegetation cowl throughout the Saudi Kingdom. However these efforts have additionally had a selected give attention to empowering Saudi youth and ladies in the local weather motion course of.

While that is undoubtedly a constructive signal – way more have to be accomplished. Certainly, within the face of an existential local weather catastrophe, Islamic non secular authorities have a particular obligation to deal with the distorted dogma that also stands in the best way of ladies’s empowerment within the Muslim world.

Fortunately, there’s highly effective non secular priority for doing so.

Take the Constitution of Makkah, one of the crucial important paperwork in latest Islamic non secular and jurisprudential historical past. A common declaration of rights and values agreed upon by over 1,200 senior Islamic students and 5,000 Islamic thinkers from 139 international locations, the doc strongly references ladies’s empowerment in civil society and explicitly calls for girls to not be marginalised in public life.

There have to be actionable steps to implement these sentiments in Muslim world international locations, however make no mistake – the Makkah Constitution is an enormous milestone in leveraging the best international Islamic non secular authorities to problem the poisonous stereotypes which have lengthy held ladies again within the Muslim world.

And for superb motive:

Not solely did the Islamic religion empower ladies from its inception, however Muslim ladies had been an lively, important, and invaluable a part of Islam’s basis. The religion merely wouldn’t have thrived because it did with out their contributions. Take, for instance, the rich impartial businesswoman, Khadija, who later married the Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him.

Her monetary sources and private power sustained the younger Muslim neighborhood at a very susceptible time. And the Prophet’s daughter, Aisha, is the supply by means of which a lot of the Islamic authorized custom developed.

She is the spine of a lot of our non secular scholarship.

And that hardly addresses the quite a few Muslim ladies who fought for the neighborhood, typically actually, in its most precarious early days, in addition to those that taught Islam, preserved Islamic texts, endowed non secular establishments, and served as benefactors for arts and tradition throughout our historical past.

Luckily, empowering ladies to play a extra notable position in tackling local weather change requires not abandoning who we, as Muslims are – however remembering who we had been meant to be within the first place.

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